Welcome to Food or Comics?, where every week we talk about what comics we’d buy at our local comic shop based on certain spending limits — $15 and $30 — as well as what we’d get if we had extra money or a gift card to spend on a “Splurge” item.
Let’s give all credit to IDW for their sense of timing. I’m so psyched up in advance of this Saturday’s return of Doctor Who to my television screen that this Wednesday’s release of Doctor Who Annual 2011 (IDW, $7.99) seems like the ideal way to prepare myself. If I had $15, I’d happily spend more than half of it on that particular anthology. The rest would go towards closing out the current incarnation of the DCU, as I’d be grabbing both Action Comics #904 and Batman: Gates of Gotham #5 (Both DC, $2.99).
The writing team of Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning have come back down to Earth and the streets of Marvel with the new Heroes for Hire (H4H) series, which premiered in December. After reading the first issue, which ended with a spectacular plot curve ball, I wanted to find out more about the series. This Wednesday, January 5, marks the release of issue 2–featuring Ghost Rider and Silver Sable. Despite his busy comics and prose writing schedule, Abnett was kind enough to do a brief email interview about the series–and offer readers a chance make hero hire suggestions for future issues.
Tim O’Shea: After working in space with myriad Marvel universe alien species, what’s the most enjoyable aspect to getting to also dabble in the “nitty, gritty, human vigilante street action of Heroes for Hire” as you recently described it.
Dan Abnett: The change of pace, really. Bill Rosemann, our editor, asked us if we’d like to do something that was a contrast to the cosmic stuff we’ve been doing, and the first thing Andy and I ever did for Marvel US was a year or so’s run on the Punisher in the early 1990s. So we decided to go ‘back on the streets’.
I knew it. I saw @Marvel post a tweet last night, and I just knew it was going to be good. I left milk and cookies out for my comic news Santa and OH BOY IT’S CHRISTMAS MORNING COME EARLY!
Just scroll down and take a look at Kevin’s sexy post about the most awesome of news coming down the wire from Marvel as Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning continue to look to the skies and dream of greatness.
From the press release:
Editor Bill Rosemann added “Take the assembled majesty of Marvel’s most powerful heroes, add on the cult-fave duo of Rocket Raccoon and Groot, pile on a ridiculous amount of writing and artistic talent, and top it all off with cool covers by Alex Garner and the one and only Mike Mignola. That, True Believers, is a recipe for face-melting, brain-frying, pedal-to-the-metal, that’s-why-I-read-comics awesomeness.
Since 2006, Marvel’s cosmic adventures have been turned upside down, starting with the very first Annihilation event, orchestrated by Keith Giffen. The threats were galactic in nature, the heroes small and powerful against the forces of true evil. While Civil War brought life-changing political stories to the Marvel Comics page, Annihilation brought back the wider-scope, cast-of-thousands style storytelling that made things like Secret Wars and the Infinity Gauntlet part of a True Believer’s vocabulary. From the first Annihilation came Annihilation: Conquest and the same life-and-death symphony was played for our enjoyment. Civilizations crumbled, characters struggled with new responsibilities and the weight of the galaxy came down on some very unusual shoulders. While they might have doubted themselves, and wrestled with the infectious Phalanx and the unbeatable Ultron to the point of personal destruction, the reader can’t doubt these characters and these stories. They paid off once before and they did so again, promising a new era of cosmic heroes in the form of the new Guardians of the Galaxy.
I was so sold on those books by the time they were solicited. The Guardians of the Galaxy weave in a lot of amazing elements with great space adventure, and I now care more about a giant sentient space tree than I do about a lot of X-Men. Abnett, Lanning and Giffen took two years and created a universe to explore, and I felt confident signing up for anything and everything they did.
Then came the War of Kings.
In the wake of The Thanos Imperative, Marvel will launch Annihilators, a four-issue limited series that teams writers Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning with artists Tan Eng Huat and Timothy Green III.
Debuting in March, Annihilators brings together the Silver Surfer, Beta-Ray Bill, Quasar, Gladiator and Ronan the Accuser — the so-called “Cosmic Avengers” — as they attempt to “fill the void left by the loss of Nova and the Guardians of the Galaxy.” The miniseries is being billed as an ideal jumping-on point for readers unfamiliar with Marvel’s recent cosmic titles.
“We picked the top flight, first class heroes,” Lanning tells Marvel.com. “The wish list; the A-grade, to contrast with the mavericks and misfits of [Guardians of the Galaxy]. This is the anti-Guardians, though their primary role is the same, and they’re essentially the Guardians’ legacy.”
Each double-sized issue will feature a full-length lead story by Abnett, Lanning and Huat, plus a back-up story by DnA and Green: the Rocket Raccoon and Groot adventure that was announced in July at Comic-Con International as a separate four-issue miniseries.
Update: Read the official press release after the break:
Yeah, yeah, I know. Tomorrow is indeed the Fourth of July and most have stirring visions of Captain America already mixed about their brains. Captain America: Reborn has set us on a path to recapture our Greatest Generation’s hero of choice perhaps with a depth and breadth of understanding of our country, patriotism and this symbol of the ol’ USA none of us would have had without the insightful storytelling of Mr. Ed Brubaker…
… but we’re going to skip all that today. Captain America posts on Independence Day are kind of cliché, don’t you think? And since Captain America: Reborn #1 is just starting out what could very well be Act Three of the epic tale that is Brubaker’s Grand Design, well. The man isn’t done with it yet, so we can save the throwing of roses and the ticker tape parades for how awesome he is for when he’s done getting to the awesome parts at the end of his awesomeness (SPOILER: it’s gonna be awesome).
Let’s instead turn towards a story that’s coming to its own close and the war of Independence that no one may win after all.
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